Friday, September 27, 2013

Small Things, Big Meaning

It's funny how my perspective has changed through this surgery recovery.  As I've gained strength and independence my mind has opened to the gift of remembering.  It feels more like random flashbacks in all honesty, but with each one it laces my heart in another layer of gratitude. 

Here are just a few things I've been thinking of.

Today, as I effortlessly step over the 4 inch wall into my shower, I remember it taking two men and my sister to help me get into the apartment bathtub, just so that my sister could wash my hair while I gripped the back of a shower chair exhausted from the effort of standing for a couple minutes. Once home, I remember letting go of my walker, clinging my sisters hands to get my foot over the 4 inch wall to my shower chair and then requiring help to dry off and get dressed. The effort causing need for a long nap. Showering independently, without a shower chair or rail, for as long as I want the hot water to beat upon my sore shoulders is a praise....a layer of gratitude.

I am attending a Livestrong/YMCA health program for cancer survivors.  I am 4 weeks into the program and I am doing 25 minutes of cardio, plus 7 different weight machines. My confidence in my body's abilities is returning and my endurance and strength is steadily growing.  I flashback to when the nurses or my caregivers were forcing me to get up and walk with my walker down the hallway just 20 feet following me with my wheelchair in case I couldn't stand a minute longer.  How grateful I am that God created our bodies to recover from such atrophy.

This photo reminds me that I had gotten to weak to shower at all. I could only sit at a 45 degree angle, but MD Anderson has a patient salon.  It took two guys to hold my reclining wheelchair at an angle for the stylist to wash my hair.  That day, in that place, I was grateful I had hair at all.  This summer I began to lose large amounts of hair every time I brushed or showered.  It would be all over my shirt and laying on my pillow every morning.  I began taking a lot of vitamins and being ever so gentle with my hair, but nothing worked. Then one day it just stopped.  I found several articles about a condition called Telogen Effluvium, which explained that this can happen when someone has gone through extreme physical stress. It can also be caused by many other situations I've experienced like, emotional or physical stress, abrupt weight loss, high fever, nutritional deficiencies, surgery and illnesses, medications and hormone changes.

Finally, I reached a point I could go see my hair stylist.  It has been 8 months and I was so ready! Here is a before and after picture!  Its amazing how a good haircut can make you feel so much better. And, I went all alone without any caregivers, no wheelchair, no wig assortment on the wall. Another layer of gratitude for healthy well trimmed hair! Isn't it nice to know God cares about these things too?

"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?   (Matthew 6:25-27)

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  1. As always Kristi, you are such an inspiration to us....all

    With love and blessings, Sue (JJ's mom)

  2. Hi there Kristina! I was actually just checking out a few of your posts and had a quick question about your blog. I was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance, thanks!


    1. HI Emily. Feel free to email me privately at I don't see how to email you.